About Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke
Liz and Lisa have been best friends for 30 years. They created this website to celebrate books women (and men!) love and to have a place to talk shit about reality TV stars. They have also published three women's fiction novels with Simon & Schuster/Atria Books. Your Perfect Life is a hilarious and heartwarming story of two childhood best friends who switch bodies at their twenty-year high school reunion. The Status of All Things, is a cautionary tale of a woman who realizes she can change the course of her entire life by what she writes in her Facebook status. And The Year We Turned Forty follows three women who get the chance to relive the year they turned forty, a year they each made decisions that altered the course of their lives. But a lot happened before their first publishing deal…
THE HISTORY OF LIZ & LISA, VOLUME I
The 70’s: A crooked president, a landmark court case and two births
1973: Watergate. Roe V. Wade…and two babies (us!) born exactly six months apart. Liz would like to point out that Lisa is older. Lisa would like to point out that means she’s wiser! The year that they turned forty, they decide a trip to Paris (Lisa) and a big bash (Liz) will make the lines around their eyes and weight around their middles less noticeable. (Or maybe all the wine they be drank took care of that?)
The 80’s: Braces, bad hair and Barry
1988- Liz & Lisa meet! They become fast friends in their freshman year of high school, both sporting braces and bad perms. They bond over their shared love for scrunchies and skorts, the fact that their moms share a birthday and their secret love for Kenny Rogers and Barry Manilow.
The 90’s: Milli Vinilli, an identity crisis (Liz’s, not Milli Vinilli’s) and a couple of graduations (beer bongs, be damned!)
1991-1996 Liz & Lisa graduate from High school in San Diego, CA and decide to spend another four years together at Cal Poly Pomona—although they wisely choose not to share a dorm room. However, they question this decision after Liz gets a roommate who sleeps all day and Lisa’s sells Ginsu knives out of their room. They decide to make the best of it.
They load up their word processors, high-waisted shorts (and jeans!) and celebrate their newfound freedom by learning how to use a beer bong. They declare the same major (communication), have an identical class schedule and both pledge Kappa Delta sorority. Many professors (and people) start to call Liz, Lisa, which causes Liz to have a major, but short-lived identity crisis.
1996-1998 After graduating, they take a short friendship “break” after spending so much time together. Oh, and they still don’t really understand what that thing called “electronic mail” is or that “information superhighway” everyone keeps talking about.
The Millennium: Y2K, two marriages, three kids and three books
2000 Lisa reminds Liz that they swore in college that they’d write a book together one day. Liz pretends not to hear her and orders another extra dirty martini.
2001 Liz gets married, forcing Lisa and several others to wear lavender dresses with square necklines. She swears they’ll wear it again one day . (They don’t.)
2004 Liz has her first child and hopes Lisa won’t ask about that pesky book thing anymore.
2006 Lisa reminds Liz again about that “book thing” and writes a chapter while on vacation. Liz has no choice but to write the next one. Things go smoothly, even though Liz is postpartum after having her second child and half-asleep during the last three months of the writing process. It doesn’t help that in the middle of everything Lisa gets dumped by her boyfriend while she’s waiting to take Liz home from her Lasik eye surgery appointment. (Long story!)
Before they know it they’ve completed a manuscript that they think is da bomb! The only problem? Every agent tells them that Chick Lit is dead and, so they bomb. Note to selves: Think twice about adjectives chosen to describe book.
2009 Liz & Lisa create the website Chick Lit is not Dead! They write another manuscript. This time they try to be more “serious.” Still, no takers! Around the same time, Lisa, who has been working in television for 15 years, leaves that career, gets engaged and moves across the country to Chicago. Liz & Lisa upgrade their phone plans to unlimited long distance and texting and try not to doubt whether their dream of getting an agent and a publisher will ever come true. Liz’s “spiritual advisor” assures them it will!
2010 Lisa gets married and pregnant (in that order, not that it matters).
2011 Liz and Lisa, unwilling to give up on their dream, begin writing Your Perfect Life. They have a feeling this will be the one. Or at least that’s what they tell themselves so they don’t feel like total losers about the other two manuscripts. Lisa also has a baby, which makes writing this book even easier. (Not!) As she rubs her aching back and tries to stay awake while typing, she wishes she had been more understanding when Liz was pregnant and writing.
2012 Your Perfect Life is sold to the incredible Greer Hendricks at Atria/Simon & Schuster by their dream agent Elizabeth Weed. Liz & Lisa pinch each other until it hurts. They also contemplate constructing a beer bong for old times sake. Instead, they head to Las Vegas to celebrate.
2013 Liz & Lisa begin to shamelessly promote themselves in preparation for the Your Perfect Life launch and hope that their readers will come along for the ride. They start their next book and cross their fingers neither of them gets pregnant while writing it. (Mercifully, neither does!) Simon & Schuster purchases two more novels from L&L: The Status of all Things and The Year We Turned Forty *Cue more celebration!*
Liz & Lisa switch gears and their site name to www.lizandlisa.com to prep for Your Perfect Life‘s launch in June. Oh, and they*might* have a few glasses of wine too.
2014 Liz & Lisa receive the cover of their next novel, The Status of All Things and fall in love. They kind of feel like they’re cheating on Your Perfect Life a little bit. But hopefully YPL knows it will always be their first love.
2015 Kirkus reviews calls The Status of All Things “A good beach read, with enough to discuss for a book club looking for lighter fare.” Liz and Lisa jump for joy. They tour NYC, Chicago and Southern California and do things like this. They wonder if they’ll be welcomed back next year.
Liz and Lisa head to the island of Maui to "research" their work in progress, The Good Widow, which is based on The Road to Hana. Their husbands roll their eyes and pretend they believe them.
Liz and Lisa prep for the upcoming launch of The Year We Turned Forty. Kirkus declares it is "A lighthearted novel-touched with magical elements-exploring the emotional high jinks that ensue when three best friends are given the chance to travel 10 years back in time."
Liz and Lisa switch things up a bit and pen two suspense novels, The Good Widow and Girls Night Out. They sell them both to Lake Union, an imprint of Amazon Publishing, to be published in 2017 and 2018. They send multiple celebration emojis to everyone they know. Not everyone appreciates it. (But who doesn't love the dancing girls with the bunny ears?)
2017 The Good Widow receives awesome trade reviews. Library Journal declares: “Fenton and Steinke deliver a complicated tale of love, loss, intrigue, and disaster....This drama keeps the pages turning with shocking twists until the bitter end.” Publisher Weekly calls it "[a] solid psychological thriller…” And Booklist says: “Fenton and Steinke’s talent for domestic drama comes through.…"
The Good Widow hits the Amazon Charts Bestseller list! Thank you, readers!
Liz and Lisa make a Spotify playlist to accompany The Good Widow--one that includes all the songs they had obsessed about while writing.
Liz and Lisa finish their 2018 release, Girls' Night Out and begin the editing process. It is brutal. They get in text fights. They rewrite GNO four times. They almost break up. (Spoiler alert!) They don't! They get over themselves and figure it out! And they are SO happy with how GNO turned out!
Bestselling author Megan Abbott says about Girls' Night Out: "...is a heart-stopper of a thriller, rippling with suspense from its opening pages. But it’s also much more: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke plumb the intricacies of female friendship with skill and depth and heart. It’s a deeply satisfying read, and one you won’t want to miss.”
Since they are incredibly huge fangirls of Megan Abbott's, they freak out for a few days.
They prepare for their upcoming launch and also start writing a new novel, something that blends the thrill of suspense and the notion that we are a sum of our choices. They sell this book, titled This Is Your Life, Lila Bennett and one more to Lake Union publishing.
They head out on their Girls’ Night Out book tour, hitting up venues in San Diego, Orange County, Chicago, New York and Austin. They sign lots of books and drink more wine and vodka than is necessary. One person has status on United and gets better seats and someone else isn’t happy about it. But, we survive.
Lisa moves back to San Diego and Liz insists that they have brunch every Friday and “brainstorm” while drinking an extra spicy bloody mary. They are baffled why as to to why they never get much done during these sessions. In other breaking news, they are now able to attend the same Orangetheory studio and compete with each other for splat points.